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Canadian firm buys more office/warehouse properties

  • Article by: JANET MOORE
  • Star Tribune
  • July 9, 2012 - 8:35 PM

A Canadian firm has purchased four suburban office/warehouse properties for $38 million from a Minneapolis developer known for cleaning up blighted industrial sites.

A unit of Winnipeg-based Artis REIT bought three properties in Brooklyn Center, including Caribou Coffee's corporate headquarters, as well as a site in St. Louis Park strategically located near Hwy. 7 and Louisiana Av., according to records filed Friday with the Hennepin County Assessor's Office. The seller was Minneapolis-based Real Estate Recycling (RER), which has built a considerable reputation in the past 17 years for redeveloping contaminated sites.

"We take old industrial sites, tear down whatever buildings are there, clean it up and build new," said Paul Hyde, a partner with RER. "We generally hold on to the buildings, and with this deal I think you can say we saw the market coming back in terms of pricing." Over the years, the firm has developed more than 1.5 million square feet of industrial real estate located on environmentally impacted property.

Artis is no stranger to the Twin Cities real estate market -- in the past two years it has spent more than $100 million on various industrial, warehouse and office sites throughout the metro. A representative from Artis did not respond to phone calls on Monday.

Artis invests in office, industrial and retail properties, particularly in western Canada, according to the company's website. The company's commercial property portfolio comprises nearly 17 million square feet of leasable space at 162 properties in Canada and the United States.

In its most-recent deal, RER sold an office/warehouse property at 4837 Azelia Av. N. in Brooklyn Center for about $13 million. The site mpw is leased to Supply Technologies, a maker of fasteners, and Wagner Spray Tech.

A neighboring property at 4830 Azelia Av. N., currently home to a Toro distribution center, Katadyn Products and Automation Inc., was sold for about $6.1 million.

Caribou's headquarters are also nearby, at 3900 Lakebreeze Av. N. That property sold for about $7.6 million, according to county records. In St. Louis Park, an office/warehouse site with about six tenants sold for $11.3 million.

The sales were finalized on Monday.

Janet Moore • 612-673-7752

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